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Today

News/Business. Boyd Matson, Garrick Utley, Mary Alice Williams. (2012) Celebrating 25 years of weekend 'Today' with appearances by former anchors and clips of memorable interviews, stories and profiles. New. (CC) (Stereo)

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01:00:00

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Channel 88 (609 MHz)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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1920

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1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 19, U.s. 9, Libya 8, San Francisco 7, Washington 5, Chicago 4, Jack 3, Cambridge 3, Citi 3, Nbc 3, Jerusalem 3, Memphis 3, Hawaii 3, Israel 3, Jackie 2, Sara James 2, John 2, Mike Viqueira 2, Al 2, Lamar 2,
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  NBC    Today    News/Business. Boyd Matson, Garrick Utley, Mary Alice  
   Williams.  (2012) Celebrating 25 years of weekend 'Today' with...  

    September 16, 2012
    6:00 - 7:00am PDT  

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good morning. mounting mid east tensions, libya's president calls the consulate assault preplanned. the u.s. beefs up protection at embassies nearby, tensions rachet up between israel and iran. the duke and duchess of cambridge keep a stiff upper lip during an overseas trip as their lawyers go to court to keep more topless photos of the royals from being published. and happy birthday to us. weekend today turns 25 years old. this morning, we're looking back at 25 years of news.
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tracks from around the world and, of course, good times. >> go, weekend today! >> and many of your favorite co-hosts are back to stay a stole down memory lane. today is sunday, september 16th, stole down memory lane. today is sunday, september 16th, 2012. captions paid for by nbc-universal television and good morning, everyone. welcome to "today" on a sunday morning. i'm lester holt. >> and i'm jenna wolf. may i just say happy 25th anniversary. we are so thrilled to have a distinguished group of folks with us here in studio 1a this morning. >> that's quite a wide shot. all these people have helped make this show what it is over the past 25 years, waging up early to bring you this show and
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have a little fun. al roker, mary alice williams, scott simon, jackie nesboro, matt snyder, jodi applegate and from memphis -- >> there it is. >> did you miss the plane, jack? >> thanks, jack. >> how does it feel to be back, everybody? >> it's wonderful. >> i'd like to say hello to my old hair. >> what is it about the hair? >> our family is here. my 9-year-old wanted to know if i ever had dark hair. baby, this shows i once had dark hair. working with al, al took it from me. >> a lot of families are here, husbands and wives are all here. so i had to get married to come back. a show of hands, how many people broke into a kolt cold sweat when the alarm went off at 4:00 this morning. >> i slept through it.
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>> he's still sleeping. so the usual. >> well, it is great to have you all. we look forward to catching up with a all later on this morning. the second half hour, we're going to catch up and show more of those hair shots, jackie, so be prepared. and we're going to hear from some of the co-hosts who didn't make it here, as well. we begin this morning with the rising tensions in the midwest. the u.s. is beefing up its presence in libya by sending marines and drones while it searches for those who killed a u.s. ambassador and three others there. ayman is in benghazi this morning. >> the u.s. police have sealed the compound with the hopes of preserving any evidence that would be important as they try to piece together what happened that night. according to the libyan president, there is no doubt as who was behind this preplanned attack. he says there were foreign elements involved and suggesting that perhaps al qaeda-inspired
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militants may have played a role in trying to revenge the killing of its senior al qaeda member who was from libya. obviously, al qaeda has taken this opportunity. they are praising the embassy attack and are calling on miss lambs around the world and moving up security in other embassy buildings. and all across u.s. embassies in some critical countries, nonessential staff have been evacuated. so you get a sense of these protests they are calling for worldwide. >> thank you. and now here is jenna. >> lester, thanks. the outburst of violence across the middle east has the white house dealing with an international crisis now. a difficult balancing act for the president with less than two months to go until election day. more now from nbc's mike viqueira.
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>> reporter: after leading the ceremony for the four americans killed in libya, president obama vowed to hunt down those people. >> those who attacked our people will not escape justice. >> reporter: u.s. embassies are a small part of a languager picture. >> let us not forget that for every angry mob, there are millions who yearn for the freedom and dignity that our country represents. >> reporter: the white house insists the anti-american violence is not a rejection of the president's policies. experts say the administration must walk a fine line. >> it is a very dangerous political dynamic on the ground that is fueled by the fact that the arab spring has not quickly found a very clear direction. >> after initially taking hits for politicalizing the american depths in libya, mitt romney has softened his tone.
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>> this is politics. i'm not going to worry about the campaign. >> running mate paul ryan continues to hammer the president. >> amid all these threats and dangers, what we do not see is steady, consistent, american leadersh leadership. >> and today, a close ally added more foreign public pressure. >> israeli ben gentleman men netanyahu insists mr. obama get tougher with iran over its nuclear program. >> iran is guided by an extremism. >> reporter: with less than two months to the election, the u.s. once again is a political flash point. for "today," mike viqueira. >> david gregory is moderator of "meet the press." on the heels of your interview with benjamin netanyahu, it
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seems like so many wheels now are spinning in the middle east and that part of the world. has it shifted the focus now of our presidential election in terms of the top issue. >> well, for now it has. and i think it's significant because the events are significant, they're complex and they're difficult to manage. iran, chief among them, especially against the backdrop of this real crisis and leadership throughout the middle east that is morphing into this rage against the united states. so i think it is here. .i think from a political point of view, i think this is an area of strength for president obama that they thought could be put away as there was more of a focus on the economy. now, this question of american policy, accusations of american weakness in the middle east, all of those things are in play. and here comes those presidential debates to hash all that out. >> and governor romney has challenged the president's leadership in the middle east after the libya attack, trying
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to po will i ticipoliticize it. has it gone beyond the debate? >> well, we don't know yet. the reality is that president obama would be perhaps more of the defensive if it were not for governor romney getting so many criticisms for his statements this week criticizing the president even before the facts were not known and in the immediate wake of argue ambassador in libya. >> the republicans are not backing up. some have drawn parallels in the iranian hostage crisis under jimmy carter. is that a fair comparison? will they continue to go in this direction or try to get things back on the economy? >> well, i won't weigh in on whether it's fair on the merit. but i think they'll continue to drive home this point. i think this becomes a did want debate about american strengths versus weakness in the middle east. and i think that there are a lot
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of people who would push back and say the view held by a lot of conservatives, that all you need is americans to show a lot of power in the middle east belie tess result of the last decade in that part of the world, that invading iraq did not change the middle east as many felt it would just by projecting american power. this is in many ways about the kind of leadership that we're seeing take root in the middle east and what leverage the united states have. i think that's a critical question. how the united states using leverage in that part of the world. and what about american public opinion? americans are very frustrated seeing all these images after we give billions of dollars to these countries and have played a role militarily and otherwise helping to free folks, the citizens of libya and egypt from dick ta to dictatorial rule. >> we'll look forward to more of your interview coming up on "met the press." now let's get a check off
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the morning's top stories. >> good morning, everyone. fbi agents have arrested a man they say planned to detonate a car bomb outside a bar in downtown chicago. more now from michelle franzen. >> reporter: authorities say a bar in chicago's busy downtown was the target friday night of an alleged car bomb plot. planned, investigators say, in a detailed criminal mrant by 18-year-old adelle dieud, an american teen who lives just outside chicago. he was arrested by fbi undercover agents after he tried to detonate what he believed were real explosives in a vehicle he parked in front of a bar. federal prosecutors say the suspect was under watch or authorities for months after he posted material on the internet relating to violent jihad and the killing of americans. >> they weren't under cover by pretending to be terrorist
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colleagues who could help him in his plans to carry out an attack. >> authorities say daoud allegedly drafted a list of 29 potential targets, including military recruiting centers, bars, malls and other tourist attractions in the chicago area. but at no time, authorities say, did he pose a real threat to the public. for "today," michelle franzen, nbc news, new york. four u.s. military members have been killed today in the third apparent insider attack in as many days in afghanistan. nato police say as least one coalition troop fired before escaping. chicago teachers could be back on work monday. the union delegates vote this afternoon on a contract that would give teachers a 10% raise over four years and require tougher performance evaluations. turning now to sports, the nhl lockdown, its players again at midnight, the main issue is
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over how to split more than $3 billion in revenue. this is the third work stoppage in pro sports in 18 months. and drawing mixed reactions from deeply moved to horrified. it shows an 18-month-old playing with gorillas at an animal park in england. her father, who owns the park, decided to post the video online to reveal the nature of great apes. now 23, tanzi says she agrees. something about that video makes me feel really uncomfortable. >> everything about that video makes me feel uncomfortable. veroni veronica, thank you very much. we have the weather. >> it's perfect all across the northeast. but we are focusing on some heat in the southwest. that's where we saw record breaking temperatures. all this area of high pressure,
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it's an off-shore flow, it's a desert wind and it created a hot day yesterday across southern california. look at those records, 101 in san diego, the land of nearly perfect temperatures. i think that's just too much heat to handle. but we are going do see some relief as we go into the day today. 92 degrees, but we are going to be closer to average down through long beach and across san diego, as well. so we are looking at a really nice day here across the northeast. so we have heavy rain in texas where they need it. we are going to see some scattered showers and thunderstorms as we go through the day today. that's a loo good morning from nbc bay area weather center. we are talking about temperatures that are starting off cool in some locations. cooler than they were yesterday. san mateo in the 40ers. temperatures today just a tad cooler than yesterday. 89 in livermore. gilroy, near 90.
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san francisco, right around 67 degrees. fog will be with us through mid morning and through the day tomorrow with cooler weather on the way by tuesday. and that's your latest weather. lester? >> dylan, thanks very much. up next, william and kate keep up a brave front overseas as more topless photos of her are set to hit the newsstands. we'll have a live report. and we're celebrating 25 years of "weekend today" with some of your favorite anchors from the past. but first a message from some special fans of the show. we're the fierce five. happy 25th "weekend today." >> hi, this is missy franklin and happy 25th anniversary "weekend today." "
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"weekend today." >> and we are sending you a lovely chardonnay. >> mom, i think that 25th is actually silver not wine. >> oh, come on, we know exactly what's in their coffee cups. >> that's why they're so cheerful so early. >> no, it's actually why we have multiple coffee cups at the same time. in fact, we had eight that we took away. five of them. our thanks to melissa and joan rivers as always. meantime, switching gears, the duke and duchess of cambridge are making quite a splash during their overseas trip to the south pacific, but a world away lawyers are for the couple are preparing for a huge legal fight over topless photos of kate. nbc's sara james is in the solomon islands following the royal couple. sarah, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, jenna. it was back in 1974 that queen elizabeth paid a visit to the solomons and now her grandson, prince william, and wife
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catheri catherine. for those who waited hours in the hot tropical sun, it was some enchanted afternoon when the duke and duchess of ca cambridge arrived in the south pacific. stepping foot on the island, a famous world war ii battleground. >> it's a chance in a lifetime, so something for us as a family and the kids to see. >> reporter: the royal couple traveled in a replica canoe to the cathedral pay iing tribute the nautical nature after country which is a collection of islands. the couple's laidback visit here in keeping with their trip, kate wearing hiking boots rather than the designer gown she wore earlier in the trip. the royals are keeping a brave face while controversy swells about the topless photos taken of kate while she and william were on vacation in france. first a french magazine published them, then an irish newspaper, prompting this
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response from the company's british editor. >> there is no way that we wish to be associated with this because it was not a decision taken here in the uk or even consulted in the uk. it's a paper that has made a horrible, horrible decision. >> reporter: but an italian magazine owned by a former italian premier berlusconi has no such qualms and plans to run a 26-page spread monday. but for will and kate duty calls and they're keeping their focus on this trip to a far-flung realm of the commonwealth. meantime, lawyers for the couple will be in a paris courtroom on monday trying to prevent further publication of these fphotos an seeking legal damages from the magazine. anyyeah? >> sara james, thank you very much. still to come on a sunday edition of "today" our anniversary celebration kicks off. we're going to catch up with the
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people you shared your weekends with during the past quarter century. first another message from some admiring fans. hey, i'm alicia keys and happy 25th "weekend today." >> happy anniversary "weekend today." the soreness was excruciating. it was impossible to even think about dancing. when you're dancing, your partner is holding you. so, his hand would have been right in the spot that i had the shingles. no tango. no rhumba. you can't be touched. for more of the inside story, visit shinglesinfo.com because four out of five dogs over the age of three develop gum disease, and tartar buildup is a contributing factor. [ dog ] or new dentastix fresh. clinically proven to fight tartar and now with added ingredients to fight dog breath, too.
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good sunday morning, everyone. live look at san hoes. 6:26 this morning before the sun comes up. i'm garvin thomas alongside meteorologist anthony slaughter. >> the fog won't burn off until 9:00 or 10:00. another day of sunshine but chilly in the north bay. look at the 40s. 45 in napa. 48 in santa rosa. toward san francisco, 51. san jose at 56 degrees. temperatures will be cooler than yesterday. a few of us got into the 90s in the east and south bay. today just upper 80s but still pleasant. even at the coast 67 in san francisco. 74 in oakland. of course the 49ers are playing
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tonight on nbc at 5:20. make sure you tune in for that. it doesn't look like any big swings in temperatures over the next week or so but autumn begins on saturday and temperatures will be similar to where they are today. upper 80s. we'll take it. >> thank you very much. caltrain is investigating a near accident that forced riders to jump out of the way of an oncoming train. the incident happened late last month at the south san francisco station. authorities were just notified friday. caltrain leaders say passengers who had just gotten off a northbound train heading to the parking lot were nearly hit by a train heading south. the station does not have gate or crossing arms to prevent passengers from walking on active tracks. caltrain officials say the operator of the train stopped a the station tested positive for marijuana but it's unclear who exactly was at fault. >> it's unacceptable. they are responsible for the public and it's very important that they should be drug tested.
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that's my opinion. >> the operators of both trains have been placed on administrative leave and caltrain is now requiring engineers and dispatchers to communicate before entering stations that do not have crossing arms. today marks the six-month anniversary of the disappearance of morgan hill teenager sierra lamar. she has not been seen since march 16th when she left home for the school bus stop. volunteers and police have been searching since hoping to discover as much as a clue in the case. in may police arrested 21-year-old garcia torres for murder even though lamar's body has not been found. today family and friends plan to mark the anniversary with a gathering in morgan hill. they'll hold a balloon release and prayer at 6:30 at the lamar search center. san francisco police in disguise. they'll be dressed as 49ers fans for tonight's game at candlestick. because of recent episodes of
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fan violence, officers say they'll be undercover looking for unruly fans wearing niners red and gold or detroit team colors while patrolling stands and parking lot and enforce the nfl's zero tolerance policy kicking out anyone causing trouble. people kicked out will have to complete a four-hour online class on conduct before being allowed back into an nfl game. coming up at 7:00, a new option for getting around san francisco that will take you out on the bay. we'll have that at 7:00.
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for nbc news this is "weekend today." ". >> i'm maria shriver. >> welcome to the first edition of "sunday today. ". >> this morning we celebrate a milestone, 25 years of bringing you the stories that matter from trips around the world. >> once again we're on the road this morning in jerusalem. >> and freedom fighters becoming icons -- >> a salute from mr. nelson mandela. >> to the trial of the century -- >> what was the first thought that went through your mind when you heard the not guilty verdict? >> as well as the international cu custody dispute. >> the 6-year-old brought out of the home. >> there's been indescribable human tragedy. >> we have been reporting on the
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horror of the new orleans convention center. >> and amazing human spirit. >> a family member passed away and he says he continues to smile because he's alive. and throughout it all, 25 years "weekend today" has been your window to the world. and we're back on this sunday morning, september 16th, 2012, celebrating, yep, 25 years of "weekend today." >> and we are joined in studio by many of your favorite co-hosts included boyd who was here from the beginning, 25 years ago. boyd, good start. this was an experiment, can we move the "today" franchise beyond five days a week? >> they apparently did not have color photography. >> we had black and white, our oldest memory. >> feel the love. 25 years, bam. >> chased down by an elephant
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one day. i'm allowed. >> i'll bring more nation. i will say those of us doing the show thought it was such a natural, obviously it's going to work on sunday mornings. there's a hole. people need this information. they weren't so sure so we were not allowed to sit at the official news desk. we had to open the show from the couch, are a little separation in case it tailed. that had nothing to do with it. >> we're going to catch up and get more stories from boyd and the rest of the group in a little while. first, outside to dylan dreyer for another check of the weath weather. hey, dylan? good morning. everyone is here for big celebrations. we have anniversaries, reunions, birthdays, everyone coming down for the big anniversary edition. temperatures almost a little fall like all across the northeast will be in the 70s. much-needed rain falling down through texas today and an inch of rain or so possible. not as hot as it was yesterday. we shouldn't break any records across the area. and then as we go into tomorrow,
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that rain extends from wisconsin all the way down into the gulf coast states and that will eventually move eastward and bring some rain to the east coast as well. so we are going to see that rain start to move in to the new york city area and most areas across the east as we head into tuesday especially. good morning from nbc bay area weather center this morning. temperatures are cool especially in the north bay this morning in the 40s. temperatures this afternoon will not climb high. we're not expecting 90s. 80s this afternoon. you notice as we head through the day lots of sunshine expected. 67 in san francisco. 78 in san rafael. 82 in fremont. cooling weather heads our way this upcoming week. and it's sunday. that means it is football night in america. tonight we are heading out to san francisco. we are looking for a gorgeous night out that way.
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a little bit breezy. we could see gusts up to 25 miles an hour but temperatures looked fantastic. highs topping out this afternoon in the 80s, but by this evening we should be around 56 to 60 degrees. jenna? >> dylan, thanks. should be a good one. we are back with 25 years of the memories made here on "weekend today." "is that al? right after these messages. can boldly satisfy any craving. share an appetizer, then choose two chili's entrees, like our classic bacon burger or our famous slow-smoked baby back ribs.
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chili's $20 dinner for two. welcome back to "weekend today" and our 25th anniversary edition. we're going to talk with our former co-hosts. >> but first let's take a look back at the 25 years of breaking news on the road add vventures,d
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memorable weekend moments. with welcome to "today" on a sunday morning. >> good morning to you once again. >> good morning -- >> and here are some of the stories we'll be covering in our electronic paper today. >> we tried to think about how we could make sundays different. sund sunday's first day. >> and it's raining. >> it's all your fault. >> this was your broadcast version of your sunday paper. >> i'm glad to join the traveling trio here. >> this is the first "today" on saturday. this means "today" will be seen seven days a week. >> you're part of the family now. >> part of the family. >> sit down and relax with us. >> what "weekend today" was able to do was be all things to all people. >> never tried to take ourselves too seriously. >> nbc "weekend today" lowdown showdown. >> there's a controversy about weekend tv and this license to just be yourself. yes! >> yes! >> minutes before a show you're
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always excited right as the clock hits the opening theme song starts playing. >> all night long we heard the impact of bombs. >> on the environment -- >> live from johnson space center -- >> do you feel as though they love you. >> never forget that our primary mission, we're a newscast. >> news and history in the making this morning. thousands of people are coming through this wall. >> i was really mad that i was nine months' pregnant and could not go to the berlin wall. hello, it's coming down and i am here and i can't travel. this is not acceptable. >> the terrible destruction left in the wake of hurricane andrew -- >> tragic end to go a fairy tale that never quite was read. >> then the viewers are certainly going to be feeling a sense of loss. we toe to them to tell the story as best we can. >> the kennedy family's latest tragedy today. >> the joy and tragedy in the life of john kennedy jr. >> this breaking news report for
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you that morning. it appears that 6-year-old elian gonzalez has now been removed -- >> from oklahoma city where there's so much heartache and still hope. >> the people vs. o.j. simpson. >> an elected president was impeached for the first time in u.s. history. >> the latest on hurricane katrina. >> this is a reality that is incredibly overwhelming. >> we need some help here. it is so pitiful. >> it gave you so much hope that this child could touch people in a way that truly changed their lives as much as they tried to change his. >> in haiti the devastation is immense, the loss incomprehensible. >> so much of this show has become an extension of who we are and there are oftentimes when news happens in our hometown because we know the people that are close to us that affect us. >> the attempted assassination of congresswoman giffords. fighting went on into the night. disaster in japan, an extraordinary new look at the
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moment of the crisis. >> it allows to us cover the story with more dimension. we spend time talking to peel. i think that's really a powerful component of the show. >> the wind has been gusting 30, 40, 50 miles an hour all day. we're in south central iraq right now. >> david was the complete package, super smart, super handsome, really fun, and tremendous ability. he loved journalism. just loved to be able to jump into a story. >> he had take then job of "weekend today." my true passion and my true love is still reporting. he was able to combine the two of them. >> the image that comes to my mind and probably everyone else's is david on the tank, going through the desert. >> i would be remiss if i let you go without passing along the good wishes from your colleagues here at "weekend today." please stay safe. >> thanks, soledad, i look
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forward to getting back home. >> i got a call the night that david died, and i didn't know what was going on. i knew it was horrible. >> to say it's a difficult morning doesn't even come close. >> i just remember thinking that my only responsibility was to his family, to melanie and his daughters. >> and of course a lot of fun in between which is one of the perks. there are a lot of perks working on saturday and sunday mornings. >> david bloom looked like a 12-year-old. enthusiastic about everything. he would vibrate with enthusiasm and was fun. >> and we're on the road this morning in jerusalem. >> we went all over the world. wow, let's go to israel, and we went to israel. >> we did a show from hawaii. >> i don't really remember much about hawaii. maybe i had one too many peina colada s. >> we worked hard. >> we work very hard. i thought there was something magical about taking the show on the road.
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>> the aussies on one side and the usa on the other. >> we did our knockoff version of "where in the world is matt lau lauer." >> we wouldn't know where each other was going. mine was las vegas and the hotel has gondolas and canals and we were trying to fool them that i had gone to venice. >> i thought did he really get to go to venice? if you're in ven i, i'm going to be really mad. >> for me it was the best part. the look on her face was like, what, i'm in new orleans and he's in italy? are you kidding me? >> you know, we just had pun. ♪ >> let's keep going. ♪ >> new york city! ♪
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>> at the time said you played vegas and somehow they worked it out that i was able to play with captain and tenille. i probably practiced that song 100 times. ♪ >> nobody -- it not one show, not one person, nobody did halloween the way weigh do hollywood at the "today" show. >> susan boyle. ♪ >> i get the laughter from the crew, yes, it's a good one. hopefully the people at home are laughing as well l. >> you can open your eyes. >> no, don't you do that. >> do you have anything that sort of numbs the pain before you do that? i can't believe i was that old and never had my ears pierced. i was really nervous about doing it on tv mostly because i was afraid that the person doing the piercing was going to to get
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hurt. ah! my ears are pierced. ♪ >> i can't tell you how many times i've said i can't believe they're paying me to do this. >> go "weekend today." >> thank you very much. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> we do want to find out -- >> what a great crowd on our plaza this morning. >> i was really proud to be the first anchor of "sunday today." >> we've had a lot of great talent, a lot of folks who have gone on to do really terrific things. >> morning, al. hi, al. >> hi. >> of all the things i've done in television, "the weekend today show." >> to this day, "weekend today." anchors come and go but it's still that same feeling. >> i think those who have worked on the show, you know, always feel this connection. that is probably the coolest part of the job is to be able to
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share these incredible moments with people. i'm watching that and thinking i want to work there. >> right? who wouldn't? >> and we do. our friends are sticking around. we're going to talk more about all the fun we've had for the last at that years. first these messages. [ male announcer ] one try can change everything. one try can relieve your nightly congestion without the blowing the stacking the steaming. that's the transformative power of one ingenious little breathe right. try one free at breatheright.com and open your nose instantly. feel the power of air sleep like you mean it and rise to mornings alive with activity. breathe better, sleep better. one free try is all it takes. it's your right to breathe right! [ john ] no. ♪ were you just... no. are you supposed to be driving that in here? no! yo! teresa here?
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it's been 25 years since "weekend today" premiered and over the years only a few of us have had the privilege of sitting in these chairs as co-host. >> this morning had many of them back with us, al roker, boyd
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mateson, joeddy applegate, mary ellis williams, mike snyder, and from memphis, jack forre. >> he's right up here. >> there he is, jack in the box. it's so great to have all you guys here. garrick, a lot of us were talking when you am come from a straight, hard news position and you came to the "today" show, you were kind of like, okay, what are they going to expect from me? you were a foreign correspondent and you got right out there in the field. why was that such an important component to the show? >> there were two parts. having foreign correspondent experience, it's wonderful to have this platform and the wherewithal and the bunches to go out in the world, moscow, hawaii, jerusalem and elsewhere, and it was also, as you mentioned earlier, the function of time. you weren't doing nightly news, the minute and a half or a maximum three-minute spot as you knew. we do the same -- i do what you do now, basically everything on the three shows. it was that luxury of time and
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flexibility and that we could take the show on the road internationally. >> you know what, what's also very interesting the difference between when you came to the "weekend today" show you have to form this idea of chemistry, that we've been together for a long time the way the weekday had. was it hard for you guys getting to know your partners right away and having that family atmosphere? >> i would say in my case when we started "saturday today" he was a guy from washington, d.c., the nation's capital, npr, had never done television, and then a gal from -- >> i had done adult films, though. >> i didn't want to say that stuff. that was supposed to be a secret. >> no, no, al immediately said, hey -- >> he recognized him. >> but i had only done spanish language television. had never done english language television. from sunny, south florida miami. they put us together. how are we going to have chemistry? >> we did the first weekend in spanish. >> we did and it worked out. >> and al was here. you kind of saw the transition because if i recall the show started out more like a sunday
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news magazine, a little more thoughtful. >> it really was. >> not that we're not thoughtful. >> thanks. >> we did very long pieces, seven, eight-minute pieces. the best part about it was you could form this camaraderie. it was like the adults were away. we were here on the weekend and they let us use the set and put on a show. it was a really great experience. >> and we should add that al did more than the weather. we gave al the opportunity to go out and produce pieces. >> they didn't give me cameras. they just sent me out. come back and the door was locked. >> he was a great reporter as well as a weatherman. >> he never got voted off the island. >> he's the true survivor. >> jack, let me turn to you, you come from this legal background. you had to make a transition on the show as well. you started the show when it was becoming more of a "today" show we see today, right? >> it was, lester, and we were outside an awful lot. as you said, i was doing work at the chief legal correspondent at the time. but you talk about chemistry, i
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was worried that i was going to be perceived as a serial anchor swapper. because during my period of time i had the wonderful opportunity to sit next to jackie and then gisele, to jodie, and then to soledad and people would say, what's the matter with you? what, you can't keep a work spouse here? what are you doing that you're driving them off? i actually kind of looked at it like, i won the lottery. i got to sit next to these talented, really smart and good looking women every saturday and sunday morning and said,'m getting paid for that. this is a good deal. >> we love you, too, jack. >> we love you, too, jack. >> we do. and i think i can speak for gisele and your other co-hosts and tv wives that you may not feel very welcome like you were the kindest, the most lovely person to work with. and we were together -- >> he's still alive, you know. he's right there. >> you talk that way about me ever? >> he came with a fresh perspective and he was so human and wonderful, and he also came at a very interesting time because it was at the height of the o.j. simpson trial, so he
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really brought as a co-anchor this incredible knowledge and legal background that really added depth and humanity at the same time. so, jack, we miss you. you're never in studio when i'm here. >> jack is the big difference. we're talking to him live now in memphis. when i did the second show from china, i had to do the first one here, fly to china. but we taped the intros. throwing back to maria was all on tape. we weren't really live. >> we're not even live right now. >> so there's a fun element that you brought to the weekend but then you have to make the hard turn to news. mary ellis, i'll ask you, was it hard to balance the two and have an equal balance throughout the shows on the weekend? >> not really. we were all in washington during garrick and me and al would fly to washington to do the show every week so we were -- it was the more serious show because it was merged with "meet the press." >> which garrick was hosting. >> in washington, yes. >> we did "sunday today" followed by "meet the press" and then would come back and do sunday nightly news.
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>> you see, someone did work harder than you. >> and, mike, you came aboard the show when you started using the plaza for the first time, right? >> right. >> you have that element of the show but also doing the hard news. >> which was different because i come out of the same kind of background that you had as well, anchoring at local news stations and making it to the network, you had to be perceived as being a heavy journalist. suddenly this obligation to go out and do a little bit of show bis, as well. and, to be quite honest, at first i felt professional news people would not take me seriously. then i realize it had didn't matter because the popularity was there. they signed me for another contract anyway. >> funny how that works out. i want to talk about all the fun we've had. we look at the clips, silly stuff. did anybody have to hold their nose when we started doing some of the silly stuff? i'm always curious. >> only the animals. >> with the animals, that's a whole different story we'll get into. did anybody find those moments like what am i doing? and i'm looking right at you, jodie?
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>> is this incriminating video? >> there is and it's coming right now. >> is it the one with the camel? oh, there. here is the back story. >> you were a rockette. >> you were a very good rockette. >> which is one of the great things about being associated with the "today" show. i walked out in full costume. >> ew. >> in the christmas spectacular they have a nativity scene so in the bowels of radio city is this menagerie of animals down there. so that was a camel stealing my lunch. >> and i mentioned to boyd earlier, you mentioned the snake thing. i do not like snakes. and then you came on here long after being the host of the show and tried to get me over the fear of snakes. i have never forgotten that. >> i used to come back in my role of national geographic where i now work and i would bring some animals. and i brought snakes, i brought tarantulas. the great thing lester never stayed seated during our segments. he was always backing up going to the corner getting as far away -- and then, of course, as
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i remember the snakes also apparently decided this was the perfect moment they had been waiting for to go to the bathroom on national television. >> i recall that, yes. some things you don't forget. >> and, you know, we've all covered so many huge events. jack, you with the o.j. simpson trial, that one was pretty personal for you. you knew a lot of the players involved and we were all watching. how memorable was that for you? >> that was -- it was a difficult one because of that. i knew o.j. simpson, had known him for years. he was actually working at nbc sports at the time and i had known him before that. johnny cochran was a good friend. we had been involved in cases before i got involved in television. in many ways, it was surreal. there would be a break inside of the courtroom and i would come up in the well and stand there and talk with o.j. and talk with johnnie cochran and then talk to the goldmans in the courtroom afterwards. and it was the first time i had ever covered anything where you did have that personal connection. it was tough. back in those days, we made sure that our opinions never came through during the course of our reporting. i think the thing that was
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most -- that i was able to enjoy the most, if you would, and that coverage is during the week i would be there as a legal correspondent and on the weekends we could then talk about what was happening. we could let the case breathe a little bit. we could engage in discussions ourselves. so, for me, it was a nice balance of a way to cover that. >> sure. >> well, it's been fun having all these weekend warriors return here and, you know, all veterans getting up early. i hope it wasn't too painful. getting up early. >> one "today" show trivia not mentioned, probably forgotten. in the early '90s they said garrick co-host. this is going to be a young reporter in the washington bureau named katherine couric. were you on that show? we were on the show and after the show was over she turned and said how did we do? and i said i think you have a future. >> by the way, one other thing, did you know garrick utley wanted to be a country western music star? >> that's -- >> you did? >> we never did it on air. >> i'm surprised. i'm surprised.
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>> glad to see i'm the only one who doesn't any longer have the complete anchor suit. >> you guys are great. >> guys, thank you so much. the story and the insight is all great. thank you for setting table for the present and the future as well. we're going to take a quick break. future as well. we're going to take a quick break. release me! you should eat something that's good for you before you go outside. never! it's a new fiber one chewy bar. chocolatey and delicious. mmm. [ male announcer ] new fiber one chewy bars. great taste kids love plus calcium and fiber kids need.
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...but add some ham and cheese ...roll them up in some crescent dough and tada, thursday is now... a ham & cheese crescent roll-up wonder pillsbury crescents, let the making begin. that's been wrapped in a flaky crust stuffed with a gooey center toasted up all golden brown then given a delicious design? a toaster strudel. pillsbury toaster strudel. so delicious...so fun. and that's going to do it for us. long time "weekend today" weatherman joe witty has also joined us. joe, nice to have you here. >> and four members of our crew both with the show over 20 years, dave auerback, the original teleprompter operator, and mark, a part of the show since its first day. great to have you here this side of the camera. happy 25th anniversary to the entire "weekend today" family. cheers. thanks, everybody, for being a part. have a great day. >> bye, everybody.
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